Group 3 rugby league clubs axe pre-season in 2020

No pre-season: Port City's Adrian Daley looks for support during last season's elimination semi-final. The 2020 Group Three season starts the weekend of April 18 and 19.
No pre-season: Port City's Adrian Daley looks for support during last season's elimination semi-final. The 2020 Group Three season starts the weekend of April 18 and 19.

GROUP Three Rugby League clubs have decided against playing a pre-season next year.

This was decided at the group's annual meeting held at the Wingham Services Club.

"The clubs are happier to organise their own trial games,'' Group Three chief executive Mal Drury explained.

The 2020 competition will kickoff the weekend on April 18-19, however, there will be a general bye the following weekend because of Anzac Day falling on the Saturday.

"The clubs weren't keen to play on Anzac Day,'' Mr Drury added.

Grand final day will be Sunday, September 6 and this will bring the competition into line with the Group Three Junior League, where the grand final will be played on Saturday, September 5.

Last season the senior competition ended a week before the juniors.

No matches will be played on the June long weekend while a weekend has been set aside in July for deferred fixtures.

There will be a new face on the board of management, with Zac Newcombe from Port Macquarie expected to nominate for a vacant position.

Group Three vice president Geoff Kelly from the Port City Breakers at the Group Three annual meeting.

Group Three vice president Geoff Kelly from the Port City Breakers at the Group Three annual meeting.

Mr Newcombe, who is linked with the Port Sharks, expressed an interest in joining the board at the meeting.

Otherwise there were no changes to the board, with all the incumbents returned. They are chairman Wayne Bridge (Wingham); senior vice president Geoff Kelly (Port Macquarie), junior vice president Warren Blissett (Forster-Tuncurry); chief executive Mal Drury (Taree); directors Ian Andrews (Taree), Jarrod Woodhouse (Taree) and Geoff Kerr (Wingham).

This will be Mr Bridge's 13th term as chairman/president. Mr Bridge and Ian Andrews will represent the group at the East Coast Region annual meeting to be held at Coffs Harbour on Saturday November 30.

However, Mr Bridge won't be seeking the regional chairman's position.

Meanwhile, Canterbury Bulldogs' Canterbury Cup side will play a trial game against the North Coast under 23 representative side at the Harry Elliott Oval at Tuncurry on Saturday February 8. Selectors last month named a North Coast train-on squad.